Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fresh Water (Part 2, The Beijing Edition)

Fresh Water (Part 1) can be found here

While pouring a glass of hot water from the tap (faucet), I noticed something not quite right with the shade of the glass as it filled up....

 Just after filling it up, this is what it looks like...

It's not mixed with anything from my side... just hot water from the tap.. yet.. I can't see the sunlit background behind it!

 10 seconds later... 

About the same, I used the flash this time.

You can see at the bottom, some transparency... it's slowly "clearing up"

 20 Seconds Later... 

We're at 1/2 and 1/2 now... woo hoo!! 
 30 Seconds later...

Is it getting more clear? I truly have no idea....

So I never use tap water for anything.

I think my maid uses it to wash dishes... yikes...!

I might want to ask her what the heck she thinks it is!

LUCKILY... I have one of these. :-)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

~Ahhh NTU~

I'm just taking a moment now to remember NTU - a great school, in a great city, on a great island. The first year I was there I hated it and wanted to quit. I'm glad I decided to give it another shot. :) 

Don't get me wrong, a lot of professors, rules and old systems pissed me off to all heaven, but in the end they taught me patience! :) Anyway, most people I met were sooo nice.

Just letting the pictures speak now - now that I'm in Beijing, I can say that the palm trees look very very nice!

The Main Road to the Library

The Main Gate
My Business School

Cafe near the business school (closed now) where I had a coffee and jam/toast
This is also where I learned how to say "Toast with Peanut Butter and Jam" 
ha ha

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Smokey would be a happy Bear

 A few times each year, they do a check of all of the fire extinguishers - I'm not sure if they replace them or what, but the result is large clusters of these extinguishers left out in the open for 1-2 weeks.

In the US, they would either be:
 1- Stolen
 2- Damaged (boom!)
 3- Fire Foam fight... yea!!!

So I have to respect the fact that none of them ever seem to be touched. I've always wanted to shoot one off just to see what it's like... and it would be handy to have one in my apartment...


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fresh Water

While in Taiwan we had a really cool water machine - it made water hot, cold and filtered it too... to an American, this is all very new and cool stuff.  After a little while, we noticed a... not so fresh taste to our clean water... after opening it up with a screwdriver (which took a long time) we found out why... 
What is it exactly?

Not sure... some sort of filmy dusty residue...

Needless to say, we stuck to bottles after this ;-)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The people on the sidewalk, the cars on the road.. the scooters EVERYWHERE

The pictures here are what the sidewalk on almost every side of my college campus in Taipei looked like. If there is one thing I remember vividly about living in Taiwan, it's the motor scooters.

At the time I was there (fresh from New York) I considered them a blight on the roads (and the sidewalks, for that matter!).

They were constantly weaving in and out of traffic, onto the sidewalk and between walking pedestrians, and just causing general havoc. Never mind the noise and (for the bad ones) exhaust! Even the cute little Taiwan girls drove these things!

The picture below I found from Google, but not because I didn't see them, just because I never snapped a picture when I did.

It was quite common to see a family of 3 or more on a scooter at least once a month, driving along the city street as calm as Mary Poppins... I'm not sure how... but somehow they never got in a wreck!

I have to say in parting though, compared to Beijing, the traffic there was timid and well behaved - 我的天啊。。。 I'll stop now... ;-)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Taste Testing for Dollars~

When I first came to Asia, I used to believe that this sort of thing was totally innocent - "Hey, Asian people didn't realize what it looked like to the perverse 老外 from NYC", I imagined, "...so better to keep quiet and perhaps share a snicker with a few fellow 外国朋友".

5 years later, I still have no idea  if they know what we (come on - admit it!) see here or if they just see a model eating a hot dog-like thing.. but that's not really the sad part... I'm actually getting used to it!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Who Said Snow Globes were Tacky?

Even when I was a little kid, I never really liked snow globes... at first, I was always upset because I wanted to touch the little trains or snowmen inside and I couldn't. Then a few years later, I just found them to be annoying and a bit cheesy. In a bit of fear, I realized the last December that I miss them, which might mean I'm passing into another phase of old age... but that's another story!

I always go to Sanlitun (a foreign favorite in Beijing) on Sunday for brunch. Rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I was shocked to see what might be the biggest snow globe in the world! 
Hmm... ok, well at least the biggest I've ever seen... The minicooper is real and operating. The house is about as big as my apartment in Hong Kong was. :-P

One thing I can be sure of, this baby wouldn't last 5 minutes if it was placed out all night and day in Manhattan... FREE MINICOOPER!

Oh... I should say... I hate minicoopers. But for obvious reasons (besides being cute - which a lot of Chinese girls I know love) it is growing in popularity here.

Note: A few weeks after taking this picture, I was walking past this again and saw some people in the house! I don't know what they were doing... I could only see all the feet... I just put my head down and went to brunch. heh heh

Friday, February 05, 2010

~Let it Rain, Let it Rain, Let it Rain~


I was looking through some old photos of the office when I came across this little gem... this is the pantry of our office - you can't walk around in it... all blocked off. :-)

This is what happens when it rains in Asia - people don't close up their umbrellas, they leave them open to dry... for hours... walking into the pantry for a cup of coffee in the morning... this will wake you up quick!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Ommmmm (Ugh)

So I started doing this Bikram Hot Yoga class in January. Mostly for something different - I started doing Hatha Yoga (very slow, relaxing yoga style) about 10 years ago, but I wanted a switch.

The room is HOT - over 100F!!  Plus it's humid... they have little spraying hoses that put a mist in the air all the time - the result is pretty gross... people are sweating all over the place.  The first time I did this class, I literally almost fainted twice. I still get light-headed, but not so bad.

I thought that might be a good thing to be in this weather (because rapid heartbeat and sweating mean weight loss, and I'm not getting any younger)! Turns out that this is not the case really. Most websites say you won't really lose weight (bummer!)

So I just finished my third class tonight, and here are some of my thoughts.

No weight loss, that's true. I am am slowly shedding pounds and getting muscle, but that is because I do Thai Boxing 4 times a week - starting Hot Yoga didn't increase that at all. That said, some muscles I didn't know I have DO hurt, so something good is happening there I guess.

One strange thing I did notice... I can breathe REALLY well now!

I didn't realize it at the time, but looking back, this can only be because of the Yoga class in the furnace-like room.

It started when I was running for boxing class... Usually I do well anyway, but suddenly I felt like I could fly or something - I had allll kinds of energy! My lung capacity was much much larger... no comparison.

Then the next weekend I was singing (yep, singing) and man... I was BELTING it out there! I could take huge breaths of air and really just let it all out (much to the pain of my neighbor I guess!). I also noticed that during these times (running and singing... ha ha) my body automatically straightened right up... I didn't do it on purpose, it just happened. Cool stuff. :)

Anywho... I'll keep mixing in the yoga for awhile and recording any results... having expected nothing, it's cool to see something this quickly. If all else fails, I can just go back to my Hatha. :)